The only woman currently on death row is due to be executed within the next 10 days. Murderer Lisa Montgomery was convicted in 2004 of the murder of 23-year-old Bobbie Stinnett and sentenced to death, and while her execution date of December 8 was originally delayed due to one of her lawyers contracting coronavirus, a court has now overruled the decision and the US Justice Department rescheduled the date to January 12.
What Montgomery did was unbelievable. After seeing Stinnett’s profile on Facebook and noticing that the younger woman was extremely pregnant, Montgomery posed as someone interested in buying a puppy that Stinnett was selling. Instead, when they met up, Montgomery strangled Stinnett to death before slicing open her abdomen and taking the baby to raise as her own. Stinnett’s body was later found by her mother Bobby, who said her daughter looked like “her stomach had exploded.”
Montgomery was immediately the biggest suspect. Given the trail of correspondence between the women on Facebook, it wasn’t long before authorities were led right to Montgomery’s door, where she had presented the baby to her husband claiming that she’d gone into premature labor while he was at work. Montgomery was immediately arrested and the baby returned to its father. Despite Stinnett’s pregnancy being only eight months along at the time, the baby, named Victoria Jo, was healthy.
Her lawyers claim her execution can’t currently be rescheduled. Their take is that since a court granted a stay of execution back in December and that stay is still active, it’s illegal for the Justice Department to reschedule Montgomery’s death. While a court originally agreed with this theory, an appeals court decided on January 1 to overturn that ruling, claiming that the stay had been granted in error and allowing the execution to go ahead on January 12.
If this goes ahead, she’ll be the first woman to be executed in 70 years. The last woman executed by the federal government was Bonnie Heady back in 1953. She was found guilty of kidnapping and shooting a 6-year-old child to death.
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